Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Netflix is better than Blockbuster

It's been a few months since we cancelled our Blockbuster Online account, mainly due to the fact that it was taking forever to get our movies. There were also times that we would send back two in a single slip, and they'd only acknowledge one made it back. To make a long story short, I don't think I'll ever use Blockbuster again.

So Friday of last week we signed up for Netflix because we got a free trial slip in the Val-Pak. I figured it wouldn't be much different than Blockbuster, but once I got over that it wasn't Blockbuster, I am actually enjoying it more.

As I first started using Netflix, I couldn't find any movies that I wanted. Blockbuster seemed to always have good movies right on the homepage every few days that I would check, and Netflix had crap that I didn't want to watch. That's when I noticed the 'Recommendations' tab along the top of the page. I never had much luck with the Blockbuster recommendations, but figured I would give it a try.

I was given a few pages worth of movies, and told to rate the movies that I had actually watched. Since my wife and I both use the account we both put in the scores, and afterwards it actually came up with some decent recommendations (in addition to me adding some of the movies I was voting on as I wanted to see them again). As I vote more movies, I get more in the recommendation bin. On Blockbuster I never felt compelled to vote on movies, but I think I will on Netflix.

As for the selection, it just seems better, especially in the non-movie department. There are a lot of TV shows and anime that I enjoy watching and only have a few DVDs for (or in a lot of the TV show cases, none at all). For example, Farscape. My friend Brian bought the DVD set for Season 2 and I watched part of it before our regular D&D game, and I found all of the seasons on Netflix. Blockbuster never seemed to have the TV shows that I wanted to watch, or had incomplete sets of Anime.

Another example was Betterman, which I found way back when when TechTV started showing anime. I've never seen all of the episodes, and I've never found all of the DVDs for purchase. Blockbuster had three of the DVDs to rent, and two I owned. Netflix had all six of them.

The interface overall is much nicer as well. When you add a movie to the queue, you get a nifty hover window of the page you are on with much more recommendations than what Blockbuster gave. I keep finding more and more movies through that screen to watch than I ever do by searching.

I am sure that Netflix will slowly start to throttle me down like Blockbuster did, but I don't think I will feel as bad about it. I went with their 2 DVDs at a time plan which was cheaper than Blockbuster's 3 at a time for $19.95. Netflix was still cheaper at only $17.95 for the same package, but I think I'll keep the extra 5 dollars I'm saving over Blockbuster since I know how quickly I go through movies.

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